My dearest friends,
My heart-felt gratitude goes out to all of you and everyone who has expressed their love and admiration of Phyliss. There was not quite another like her in my life time. I will miss her sorely and hope I may join her soon.
I thought those who could not attend the funeral would find some comfort in reading the eulogy I gave.
Thank you all again for your kindness.
Eulogy to Phyliss Crudo Badame
Each generation produces a small number of individuals that society identifies as remarkable in some way .... worthy of having produced some laudable .... uncommon ... and worthy achievement.
These persons generally are recognized ... revered ... and remembered as the giants of humanity ... arriving like a tidal wave with great pomp and circumstance.
Unfortunately ... these individuals are often without depth of character, and their achievement is often of questionable merit.
Once in a while, however... quietly... humbly with no fanfare, a person of true character and worth appears as a subtle ripple in the ocean of humanity. This person walks unpretentiously among us... quietly ... almost unnoticed ... spreading her goodness by example and deed with little or no recognition ... nor desire to be recognized. We are rarely aware that we have been touched by greatness. And yet ... this person's accomplishments are truly worthy of adulation ... positively impacting a wide range of individuals of multiple generations.
Phyliss has been this person walking gently among us for her entire life.
Molded by an unknown force or event that is difficult to identify, she developed from an early age into an example of a near-perfect human being.
A child who knew right from wrong, and possessed extraordinary wisdom - following an uncommon path of excellence, like a laser, without detour or deterrence. She was soon to become an accomplished adult ... literally walking in the footsteps of Jesus.
Phyliss by-passed poverty, bias, and prejudice with an internal motivation, determination, and singular faith in God . Excuses and failure were never in her lexicon.
While her personal trials were kept opaque to those around her, she remained transparent to those who were sincere and needed her talents. No one in need was ever turned away. Her assistance was always the most thorough ... the most professional. If she did not possess the resources to help, she was a master at heralding assistance from any source necessary. No kind deed was ever left unaddressed or unfinished.
Phyliss' pursuit of excellence was hallmarked by not merely superior intellect, but also true intelligence ... combined with uncommon patience, a remarkable sense of fairness and justice, nurturing kindness, uncommon humility, an undying spirit, fierce loyalty, rock-solid friendship, an unequaled work ethic, an abhorrence of waste and sloth, an infinite capacity to love ... and be loved, an overwhelming ability to forgive, a copious measure of self-denial, and a reverend faith and piety.
Later in life, when burdened with seemingly unsurmountable multiple handicaps, she continued undaunted in her quest for kindness, compassion and benevolence toward everyone around her.
Through all of her trials she never complained, sought recognition, sympathy, or the limelight - a humble and private soul guided by Jesus and Mary - a rare human being for an entire lifetime.
We may thank God for her compassionate passing which was unexpectedly sudden, peaceful, and dignified ... in the same manner she lived her life.
If Phyliss were still here today, with some help from Neil Diamond, I would say this to her:
My dearest Phyliss
I was alone
You found me and made me your own
I was afraid I never could be the man that you wanted me to be
You're the story of my life, and every word is true
Each chapter sings your name
Each page begins with you
It's the story of our times and never letting go
If I die today, I wanted you to know
The story of my life - it's very plain to read
It starts the day you came
It ends the day you leave
I remember I was once asked why I married Phyliss ...
shall we say in such an uncommon and unorthodox union.
I replied: “because Phyliss brings springtime to my heart”
But, now, comes the realization that spring dissolves into summer
Summer quietly fades into autumn
and, alas ... autumn surrenders to the harshness of winter.
But sadly, this year ... there will be no springtime.
My darling Phyliss, rest in peace forever, free of your pain, suffering and handicaps until I may be fortunate enough to join you once again.
Rest for eternity protected in the arms of Jesus your beloved Savior
where you so deservedly belong.
Thank you all again.